In this current age, technology changes in the blink of an eye. On average, Apple introduces two to three new iPhones a year. Computers can need an update to their operating system before you’ve even unpacked it from the box.
The website that the Delaware County District Library uses, located at www.delawarelibrary.org, is a design that was built for our needs back in 2011. Though we’ve updated it with content and more advanced security features, it’s still fairly out of date as far as 2019 standards go.
One primary feature that will bring a website into the 21st century is not something you’d necessarily see. It’s something that lives in the behind-the-scenes of the website’s coding, and it’s called web accessibility. While there are a variety of disabilities and conditions that can affect the way people use websites, some of the most common impairments include visual, hearing, motor skills, photosensitive or cognitive impairments.
Assistive technologies have been made to help people with these impairments browse the internet. For example, screen readers can vocalize text on each page and read descriptive words that explain what’s happening in pictures on web pages. Alternative keyboards allow users to tab through navigational displays if a mouse cannot be used.
Earlier this year, the Delaware County District Library began the journey to update our website’s design, features and functionality so we could provide a more inclusive web environment to all our users. I’m proud to say that within the coming week, our website visitors will see the launch of that new design.
All of the features you regularly use on our website will remain the same. A catalog search of our millions of available items will remain prominent at the top of the screen. All research and library services will be clearly defined in an easy-to-read format. Digital collections like Libby, Hoopla, and RBdigital will be together in one area with easy download links for tablet and mobile users to access in their respective app stores.
Finally, the library’s event calendar may look the most different, with a variety of new features and functions. Users may still sort events by their choice of library location and age group, but a new search function for event type, like “Book Club” or “Storytime,” will make finding specific events even easier. Additionally, any events that require preregistration will all now be accessible from the event page with a library card number and PIN. When users register for programs with their library card numbers, all of their registrations will be held in one area, making it easy to change or cancel registrations with the click of a button.
This is just the start to many digital upgrades we will implement over the next year. Coming soon, patrons will have the ability to request study rooms and community meeting rooms online with a library card.
Though sometimes it may seem like we’re living in a science fiction novel, we’ve only just scratched the surface. Here are some of the newest fantasy and science fiction books on our shelves this month.
• “The Lightest Object in the Universe” by Kimi Eisele. As society breaks down, a high school principal embarks on a journey across the United States to find his long-distance lover. This hopeful debut focuses on community-minded folks rebuilding after catastrophe. Best for fans of Emily St. John Mandel’s “Station Eleven” and James Howard Kunstler’s “World Made By Hand.”
• “Gods of Jade and Shadow” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. After 18-year-old Casiopea Tun accidentally reanimates Hun-Kamé, Lord of Shadows, she must accompany the Mayan death god on a quest to regain his stolen body parts and defeat his brother. You might like it for the evocative 1920s Mexico setting; a slow-building romance; and a quest storyline that unfolds like a dark fairy tale.
• “Wanderers” by Chuck Wendig. A mysterious epidemic of sleepwalking accelerates societal collapse as sufferers and their caregivers traverse a deeply divided near-future United States. Unfolding from multiple perspectives, this sprawling yet suspenseful apocalyptic novel combines action with explorations of contemporary social issues. Lovers of Stephen King’s “The Stand” will want to put this on hold.
If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at firstname.lastname@example.org. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!